Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading Wind Down – time to amp it up!

Inaction is not an option! 2017 Summer Reading might be winding down, but it’s time to amp it up for next year!  Next year’s theme is ‘Libraries Rock!’.  STEM and STEAM programming have tons of crossover applications to music. Here’s a few ideas to get you stoked for next year! Ukulele Got ukes?  How about a ukulele club?  Learning to play a few chords on ukulele is super easy – anyone can learn.  Nail C-F-G chords and you’d be floored how many songs you can play with ease.  We’ve been teaching all summer long and the kids are lovin’ it.  Next summer would be a great opportunity for you to start up your own club.  We searched around and found starter kits, complete with ukulele, bag, picks, tuner and extra strings for only $34 on sale on Amazon.                 Teens! Teens will truly…

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Grant Program for Libraries to Support Computer Science & Computational Thinking

Competitive Grant Program Sponsored by Google

ALA has announced a competitive grant program, sponsored by Google, that will fund a cohort of 25-50 school and public libraries to design computational thinking and computer science programs for and with youth, including underrepresented youth.  The grant application will open in late July.  If you’d like to get notification when the application is open, sign up via this online form. The $500,000 program is part of Phase III of Libraries Ready to Code, an ongoing collaboration between ALA and Google to ensure library staff are prepared to develop and deliver programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth, two skills that will be required for challenges and jobs of the future. ALSC is partnering with ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, AASL, and YALSA to implement this program. Learn more.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Build a Better World – Sustainability STEM programming!

sustainability

STEM and STEAM this summer! Summer reading is a great time to market ourselves, but it’s even better for starting new programs.  Get kids hooked on STEM and STEAM programming!  Focusing on “Build a Better World”, try these three “hot” topics that all touch on Sustainability: Global warming Princeton University created a game and teaching guide that children from fifth grade up can enjoy and learn with – The Wedges Game! This is a “team-based exercise that teaches players about greenhouse gases, plus technologies that reduce carbon emissions” (Wedges Game) Try out this resource for even more ideas!  STEM Learning Take these programs a step further! Have kids debate the issues Have kids draw up policies and recommendations to present to local councils Nothing increases a child’s understanding of topics better than a little research, a bit of debating and then presenting to others.  And what better way to build a better world than…

Blogger Meg Smith

NASA @ My Library Offers Spectacular Science

As a NASA @ My Library grant recipient, Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center receives STEM kits, technology, and resources to share with our community. Our role as a NASA @ My Library Partner aligns with our mission, “the library opens windows to the world by encouraging expression, enlightenment, and exploration,” with NASA @ My Library’s goal to strengthen STEM learning opportunities for library patrons in underserved areas. Our Youth Services Leadership team, composed of professional librarians from all eight public library locations, has already met to review grant requirements, collaborate on programming initiatives, and to coordinate these NASA-related STEM programs through system-wide planning. Our public library’s partnership with Fascinate-U Children’s Museum will offer opportunities for museum and public library collaboration through STEM programming. Our staff will partner with a local Title One public elementary school, with a high percentage of minority students and the county’s only elementary school with…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking STEAM Programs On The Road

Early this year, I learned that my library was one of the lucky recipients of an ALSC & Dollar General Literacy Foundation “Strengthening Communities Through Libraries” grant. We used the funds to create STEAM programming kits to be used alone or in different combinations for outreach programs. Our vision was to take these kits into after-school care sites serving disadvantaged populations and deliver the same type of STEAM programs we would at the library. We put out feelers to multiple sites, asking if we could come once per month to deliver a program. We thought that we would be lucky to get our foot in the door at a couple of places. In reality, we got ten enthusiastic “yes, please come” replies within days. And that’s how we ended up doing fifty extra STEAM programs that reached hundreds of kids in just five months. Every month, we developed a basic…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Teaching Gardens and Junior Master Gardeners

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” ~ Cicero. Well, I’ve got everything I need and more!  Besides being a Youth Services Librarian, I am a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. (That means I’ve had training, continuing education, and lots of volunteer hours). In fact, I’m so lucky I have established and manage a Teaching Garden here at the Algonquin Area Public Library. As an EMG, I teach many classes and present programs at libraries, conferences, and for civic groups At my library, our Teaching Garden is celebrating its second birthday. The garden consists of raised beds with a variety of different gardens. Last year we had a square foot garden, a cutting garden, a kids garden, and a sensory garden. The first year was a learning experience for me and we learned that weeds are our biggest  bugaboo, especially since our next door…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Community Building with Technology

While the use of modern technology can still be contentious in libraries, by now many of us feel comfortable with or at least accept the existence of modern technology in libraries. One fear many of us still have is the problem of youngsters becoming isolated  users of devices. We encourage parent interaction, but we certainly can’t force it. We can, however, provide contexts that encourage not only parent interaction, but co-play among the children. On the floor play: Children’s librarians have long been champions of play and its merits. Most of us probably have some sort of play on the public floor of our children’s spaces, and we often see this resulting in unexpected play partners and friendships. We might hesitate to put screen or other technology in public places, for fear it will encourage solo play or detract from imaginative play. If you’re using screen technology, limit the apps…

ALSC Online Courses

Register for Spring 2017 ALSC Online Courses

Register for Spring 2017 ALSC Online Courses

ALSC encourages participants to sign up for Spring 2017 ALSC online courses. Registration is open for all courses. Classes begin Monday, April 3, 2017. Two of the courses being offered this semester are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs). The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options. Learn more about online courses at the ALSC Online Education site. Demonstrating ALSC Competencies 6 weeks, April 3 – May 12, 2017 Instructor: Rachel Reinwald, Youth Services Librarian/School Liaison, Lake Villa District Library Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy 4 weeks, April 3 – 28, 2017, 1.2 CEUs Instructor: Angela Young,…